My ears have been party to the many concerns raised over the past year in relation to the UK’s nuclear agenda: When will work actually come on stream? What if it all goes to more seasoned European firms? And, most commonly, what will happen with the programme if - or, more likely, when - the Government changes?
And even though not all of these questions have been answered in full, it feels like progress in the nuclear new build sector has finally started making regular headlines. RWE and E On have bought up extra land from the decommissioning authority, EDF are preparing to accept tenders at Hinkley and contractors are sizing each other up to gauge who they are happy to marry in order to return home with the biggest slice of the pie.
Furthermore there seems to be an endless stream of conferences or seminars being held to discuss supply chain opportunities in the UK.
The Nuclear Industry Authority is calling on second and sub-tier contractors to put some real thought - albeit probably real quickly - into pursuing nuclear works.
It should be another 18 months or so before the main bulk of packages start coming on stream for tendering and, as NIA chair Lord O’Neill says: “When we are in the middle of a recession, as we are at the moment, why not look at the wide range of opportunities available?”
Couldn’t hurt, could it?